Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, escaped death at a political rally in Bulawayo on Saturday, but his two vice Presidents, some cabinet members and top ZANU- PF leaders were not that lucky as they sustained varying degree of injuries at the second largest city in Zimbabwe and traditional stronghold of the opposition. For about 18years, the ruling party has not won national elections there. Mnangagwa ‘s main contender in next month’s election, Nelson Chamisa also escaped what was believed to be a state sponsored assassination attempt on his life at Harare International Airport on his way to Belgium in March 2007. The 40 year old Presidential candidate of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was said to be in remote area campaigning when the unfortunate incident happened. The MDC Presidential spokesperson, Dr. Nkululeko Simbada in an exclusive interview with Sunday Oyinloye, Publisher of Green Savannah Diplomatic cable, speaks about the blast stressing that President Mnangagwa lacks the capacity to protect his people.
What is the reaction of MDC Presidential candidate to the unfortunate blast that occurred on Saturday during a political rally being addressed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa?
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) President, Nelson Chamisa is praying for our country. He is shocked by the incident and sympathizes with those injured and their families. He is appalled by the violence that took place at ZANU- PF Presidential Candidate, Mnangagwa’s rally yesterday (Saturday). Our President is concerned about continued use of violence in matters of politics and state. Mnangagwa’s is proving to be unable to organise a stable country to partake in international business, commerce and politics. After the incident, Zimbabwe feels more insecure and it’s clear that Mnangagwa is failing and cannot be trusted to keep our country safe and peaceful.
Why are you blaming the President for an incident that almost cost him his life?
He has the ultimate duty to protect everyone, including himself. A national institution failed. Would you not blame the President if a country is attacked? Yesterday (Saturday) our country was attacked and President Mnangagwa had no idea it was coming. Under Nelson Chamisa, everyone including the President will be safe.
Are you saying the attack came from the government against itself?
I am saying that an important National institution failed. That is a huge security risk for the region and the rest of the world.
I want you to be specific; do you think your President can plan assassination against himself?
We will let the police do their job, but this security failure speaks to Emmerson Mnangagwa’s leadership failure. We are concerned about the security of our country under Mnangagwa’s unstable government, Presidential Guard and VIP Protection.
The incident happened in your stronghold, what does that mean to your campaign organization?
The President of this country must be safe wherever he is
So who could have been responsible?
The MDC is a political party, we don’t do investigations. The people of Zimbabwe can judge for themselves. They saw the video footage and events.
What you are saying to Zimbabweans about the coming election?
The people of Zimbabwe deserve a young, experienced and safe President. Nelson Chamisa is offering jobs, prosperity, development and growth. Zimbabwe deserves change after 38y years of plunder and corruption by the ZANU- PF, Mugabe and Mnangagwa. The international community also deserves a stable partner in the form of a competent Zimbabwe.
With what happened on Saturday, are you not concerned about Chamisa’s safety?
Our President ( Chamisa) has survived an assassination attempt before. What happened to Mnangagwa, most in the opposition have experienced many times and for them nothing has changed. The risk continues to exist. It is a dangerous game to oppose ZANU-PF.
Some critics of your candidate are saying that he is too young to handle Zimbabwe and that Chamisa surrounds himself with many youths who know next to nothing about governance, what assurances are you giving your people that it will not be business as usual if your principal wins the election?
Africa deserves progress. Zimbabwe does not even have a currency under the leadership of all the guys who run this government. Their only experience is in the destruction of an economy, murder, violence and corruption. They have no relevant experience for progress .Again that is a redundant argument. Chamisa has been in politics for 18 years and as a minister, his department progress, giving him a net advantage in the politics of progress and development than all the ZANU- PF ministers combined. ZANU-PF never created a single road or improved a single thing.
Since Chamisa was in government for some years, is it not safe to conclude that he was part of the rot in your country?
That argument would have no relationship to reality. When the Unity government was formed Zimbabwe had empty shops. Very few people had cellphones, now everyone has two cellphones each. This was the contribution of the MDC to Zimbabwe. His experience stabilised the economy and saved Zimbabwe from total collapse. He was in government for 5 years. When he joined the Unity government, inflation was officially put at 11.2 million percent but most economists put it at over 5 billion percent in 2008.When he left that was in single digits and the country experienced net growth.